This picture was taken during my recent trip to Northern California.

This picture was taken during my recent trip to Northern California.

My post title is a lyric line from my latest song composition that is “in progress.” It stood out for me as a perfect description of what I’ve been going through.

Originally, the music for my song was inspired by a classical guitar instrumental named “Waterfalls.” I composed it when I was 19 years old. I’m not sure what my new song with lyrics will be named yet, but so far “Take Me Away” stands out as most likely, though I’d prefer a title that hasn’t been used so many times before.


Click the blue link to play audio of my arrangement in progress:


TAKE ME AWAY Midi in progress – Copyright 2014 by Judy Unger

These are the lyrics for the first verse of my newest song that is slowly being born.

This is the first verse of my newest song that is slowly being born.

Beautiful scene of the ocean

I begin my post by sharing some photos of the beautiful coastal scenery I saw in Northern California two weeks ago.

I stayed with a family friend, Liz after attending a memorial for my friend Susan Rasky. I haven’t travelled much, so it was very special when Liz drove me through some beautiful places the following day. Liz and her husband lived in Sebastopol, Northern California and both she and her husband were geologists.


After having lunch with Liz’s mother at a senior center, Liz took me for a long drive back to her house. It turned into a three-hour looping trip through redwood forests and coastline and the scenery was quite spectacular.


Every so often we stopped so I could take a picture. I appreciated Liz’s knowledge about the area’s history, geography and climate. But most of all, I was fascinated and simply loved the fact that I was with a geologist.

Cool Rock

That’s because I collected rocks as a child and have always loved nature. After my father died, it was touching for me to see my old rock collections when my oldest son cleaned out the coop where I moved into. I wasn’t surprised that my dad had saved them because he never threw anything away. I guess I’m still attracted to cool rocks because I even brought one home with me from my recent trip to Tucson.

Cool Rock 1


Within short distances, a rolling meadow would suddenly become a rainforest. The road followed a river that I occasionally caught a glimpse of. It was called the Russian River and its water level was very low, due to drought.


While on our excursion, I was inspired by one incredible moment that happened when we pulled off shortly before hitting the coastline.


Russian River & Ocean 2


We had followed the Russian River through a redwood forest and were at an estuary where it met the ocean. The view was quite breathtaking; this was definitely a place to stop. Liz parked and I got out to use the bathroom. As I walked back to the car, instead of marveling at the incredible ocean vista in front of me, I turned around toward the hills and said to Liz, “Wow, those are interesting rock formations over there on the other side of the highway.”

Jenner by the sea


Liz smiled. Suddenly, I received a fantastic geology lesson. As I listened to her, I grinned because if I hadn’t noticed those rocks, I might have missed out on this.


Well, it turned out those rocks were more than special.


I had just noticed rocks that were found nowhere else in the world!

Jenner close up


In this town of Jenner where we had parked, those outcroppings represented the Earth’s mantle. For rock to be thrust up to the Earth’s surface from so deep near the core – it was truly an incredible force of nature.


And this was the spot where geologists came from all over the world to see.


Right near our car, there was an interesting boulder. I pointed it out to Liz. For over five minutes she examined it and described all the minerals to me in that rock.


I took her picture, which she gave me permission to share.

Liz examining rock

Prior to our excursion, I appreciated this fortune I received in a cookie during the luncheon I attended with Liz and her mother.

Prior to our excursion, I appreciated this fortune I received in a cookie during the luncheon I attended with Liz and her mother. 

I continue to utilize hypnotherapy to harness my mind and help myself. As I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I realize how adept I am at pushing down painful memories.


Recently, I had a pivotal hypnotherapy session where something really clicked for me. I came home with a new word and a new approach for my challenges. That word was ACKNOWLEDGE.


I carry a lot of old habits and coping mechanisms – grief has unfortunately been a familiar part of my life. I have no doubt that my dry eye syndrome has worsened because of suppressed grief. I’ve felt pressured to uphold an image of a “poster child for grief.”


Also, I dislike feeling as if I’m a “complainer” because of my eye problems. I don’t want pity from anyone and certainly avoid self-pity as much as possible.


Unfortunately, thinking that way has blocked my ability to acknowledge a lot of painful parts of my life.


Like a victim of amnesia, my former life is remote because I’ve forced myself to separate from any pain I start experiencing. Therefore, when I’ve thought about my parents, it’s as if they’re strangers even though their deaths were fairly recent. My mother died in my arms only a few months ago – but my heart has been numb and blocked.


As I acknowledge the truth about how much I miss them, my grief is surfacing like a tidal wave. Crying over losing them is understandable because they inhabited such a large portion of my life.


I found it very disturbing to realize that what I couldn’t acknowledge during the day surfaced while I was sleeping.


In many dreams my mother appeared to me. We were holding hands and laughing, and then suddenly she died. Each time it happened in a different way.


One of my worst dreams was when I saw her fall through some ice we were walking on. I tried to grab her as she reached for my hand in the icy dark water. I silently screamed as she descended; then I saw Jason looking up at me from the dark depths below her.


Mom's Hand at death

For certain, losing my parents has not been comparable to the loss of my young son.


I shoveled dirt onto my mother’s coffin during her funeral, I was calm and marveled how accepting I was of her death at that moment.


When my son died, I wanted to jump into the very hole where I was shoveling the dirt. I wished I were dead and inside the coffin with him.

It has been hard to remember my parents this happy because they suffered so much at the end of their lives.

It has been hard to remember my parents this happy because they suffered so much at the end of their lives.

Writing lyrics is something that happens for me when I’m not trying so hard. As I listened to the haunting chords in a completely weird guitar key of Eb minor – I wanted to envision going somewhere peaceful in nature. That still might happen for the second verse, which is not done yet. I wrote the first verse a month ago and couldn’t decide where to go with it.

I did know that I wanted to be taken away. I wasn’t sure by whom or where, either. A few days ago, I wrote new chords that I hoped would inspire me to finally write a chorus.

But it was really tough when some words spilled out of me as I searched to find those lyrics.

It was the line of, “I’m crying while I’m dreaming” that hit me hard. It was natural and understandable.

My recent dreams were the basis for my song. I wrote a few more lines and decided my song was being born. It was so healing and amazing for me.

Perhaps, God was taking me away from my pain after all.

Take Me Away lyrics© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2014Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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  1. jmgoyder says:

    You are such an amazing person, Judy. The eye condition must be driving you mad but you still soldier on – I cannot even express how much I admire your courage, tenacity and TALENT! Juliexxx


  2. Wow did you look at my life while writing this one Judy? I am soooo guilty of using food to assuage so many emotions. I am so glad you are “acknowledging’ your many areas of grief and pain. I am too afraid to do so for fear they will restrain me as I completely lose it. Padded rooms is where I see myself should I acknowledge all the wrongs and the pain. Ah well, tis what it is.
    I have not had a moment to myself where I can listen to your new cd but I am longing to, as your music touches me so deeply and I find myself needing to listen as it soothes me and lifts me up. Thank you for sharing your music with me. love and hugs my friend.


    • Judy says:

      Len, your comment meant so much to me! I often feel very vulnerable sharing such personal things – such as weight gain. But hearing how you connected with that is really important for me and explains why I write from my heart. We are all human and struggling to deal with our challenges as best we can. I appreciate your support and know that slowly you will overcome your feelings about releasing pain. Holding pain in is still awful, and I’ve discovered that releasing it helps diminish it. If my music or words comfort you, I am blessed. Thank you so much again.


  3. Cindy L. May says:

    Oh Judy, how I wish I would have known you were in Sebastopol! I live in Santa Rosa, only a few minutes away. I would have loved to have seen you. Next time maybe.


    • Judy says:

      Hi Cindy,

      I was definitely thinking of you during my trip, but I didn’t realize that was where you lived. For some reason I thought it was the other direction. I was there for only two days and it went by quickly. I plan on doing this again because my friend Liz was wonderful; I hope to stay in touch with her and her mom. And seeing you would be fantastic!!!! So you’ll be seeing me someday in Santa Rosa before you know it. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope all is well with you, Barry and your children. Love, Judy


      • Cindy L. May says:

        That would be so much fun, Judy! You know…you can fly directly into Santa Rosa Airport from LAX too. Look for specials for Alaska Airlines. Spring and autumn are so beautiful up here!


      • Judy says:

        Maybe autumn is something to plan on then; spring is almost upon us. What a gorgeous area you live in! I was very inspired by the scenery. Guess who I saw today? Carol! It was lovely and I’m really glad I’ve reconnected with my wonderful folk dance and college friends. I was with her when I saw your first message and she says hi. I could ask Liz if I could stay with her – or if you have a spot for me that would work, too. You’ll let me know. I would love to reconnect with you and Barry in your beautiful place. 🙂


      • Cindy L. May says:

        Yes, we are very blessed to live here…that is why we moved here 25 years ago. It has been a wonderful place to raise our kids. Say “hi” to Carol for me! It would be fun to see her too! We would be happy to have you stay with us. They have folkdancing at the temple right down the street from us on Tues evenings. :-D. There also are many many places around here to paint too. We live right down the street from a state park – Annadel. We can see the hills and redwoods from our house.


      • Judy says:

        Thank you so much for your hospitality! I hardly remember those dances – I think the only dancing I would appreciate is called “an oldies night.” Well, you picked a beautiful choice of where to live, Cindy. I’m not into painting these days. I’m fortunate that I still get illustration work and it’s digital (easier on my eyes). My passion is my music and I’d be playing my guitar and singing in the outdoors. That would be an inspiring place to play music.


      • Cindy L. May says:

        Ok, then…you can play your gorgeous music and my daughter and I can paint! I can’t do any of the new dances either…haha! There is a gal who dances there at the temple who used to go to Café Shalom and UCLA when we did back in the late ’70s. She looked so familiar I asked her if she used to live in L.A. and she did. It is weird…she is our age, and because she has kept up with it all these years, she can dance rings around me. Bleh! Please do plan to visit. We would all welcome you to our home.


      • Judy says:

        Thank you again, Cindy, for all your warm messages. I would love to come and will plan on it. That’s interesting about the woman you met who looked familiar. I don’t even need to dance – just hearing that music and watching is so nostalgic! Until we see each other, stay well.


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